Chapter 6 - National Museum Of Korea (3)

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“You will…regret this! I will make you regret this!”

Min Jung-woo glared at Jin-hyuk as he ground his teeth with an expression that showed his intent to kill him.

Well…

He didn’t seem to fully understand the situation yet.

Who had the upper hand here?

Jin-hyuk shrugged.

“I don’t think you understand. Don’t you get why I burned the map?”

It meant he didn’t need the information up to the 10th floor.

“No…”

Min Jung-woo looked shocked as realization dawned on him.

“ If you want to climb to the 10th floor safely, don’t hesitate to do what I tell you.“

Move left if he ordered it, and move right if he told him to.

You never know, after all?

If he listened well, maybe he would get a piece of rice cake as a reward?

“Seeing that you burned the map, I was thinking… you might have a unique ability related to ‘information searching’?”

Min Jung-woo was assuming things now.

And he still looked at Jin-hyuk with killing intent.

“But, why should I listen to you? After setting you on fire, I can get any information I want from you.”

His magic was tapped out completely at the moment. Once his magic recovered, it would not be a difficult task to burn just one person.

He wasn’t wrong.

Torture and intimidation.

Definitely an effective tool.

“If you think you can win in a one-on-one fight…”

Jin-hyuk’s eyes turned cold as red flames erupted from both of his hands.

[Lv1' Element of Fire' has been activated]

Wheik!

The huge flames began to burn brightly.

“I-is that?”

Min Jung-woo’s eyes shook as he saw the flames. He almost screamed at this unbelievable sight.

“How… do you have the same abilities as mine…?”

No.

Not the same.

It was stronger and hotter.

There was no doubt about it.

It had to be at least one or two levels higher. The gap between their flames had widened because of the inherent difference in their stats.

Gulp.

Min Jun-woo gulped.

Even if he had his magic…

‘Can I win?’

Min Jung-woo shook his head as he was filled with worry.

‘It is impossible.’

A smaller flame couldn’t swallow a larger one.

He understood now how Lee Yuri had been taken out.

Those stone statues of her couldn’t have handled it.

But now…

There was something about this that didn’t make sense.

“You had such power, so why are you hiding it? You could have killed me easily if you had shown your strength from the start.”

“What would be the reason for that?”

Jin-hyuk smiled.

He then broke through the barrier and stood in front of Min Jung-woo.

“Do I have to explain it all to you?’

“W-what…”

“It is my job to question and give you orders, while yours is just to follow.”

Min Jung-woo, who had been looking at Jin-hyuk in the eyes, averted his gaze.

“You answer?”

“I… will.”

As expected.

He smiled.

Jin-hyuk then let his flames flicker out.

“I will contact you at a later time. Until then, you should level up with the girl downstairs and work hard.”

Even if he tried to use them now, they would be too weak and be a burden for him.

‘At least, until they are useful, I will let them grow.’

Jin-hyuk walked down the stairs, leaving his back open for attacks.

Step.

He looked defenseless enough to be a tempting target for attack.

“…”

However, Min Jung-woo didn’t even lift a finger. He couldn’t.

He had no other way either.

‘If he tried to threaten me clumsily, I might attack him back.’

That was human psychology.

When one’s anger and desire for revenge were so extreme that it became imprinted on their bones.

It also made a human think that they shouldn’t dare try to attack under any circumstance.

Only then would a horse chess piece that could be played with complete freedom be born.


It was around sunrise as Jin-hyuk left the museum and returned to the place where he was living.

It was a really long day.

It felt like doing a whole month’s work in a single day.

“Uhhh!”

Jin-hyuk stretched out his body.

As he slowly relaxed his arms and legs, he felt his aching body loosen up.

‘The Tower of Trials would open in the evening, so until then, should I eat and maybe rest my eyes?’

Getting enough rest and eating well were as important as being active. Above all, if he wasn’t in good shape, then he wouldn’t be able to perform optimally.

But, before taking a rest…

He needed to check something.

“Status Window.”

Jin-hyuk mumbled into the air.

And,

Tring!


Name: Kang Jin-hyuk
Gender: Male
Age: 27
Level: 1
Strength 8 Agility 8 Stamina 8 Magic 11
Stat Points: 0
Occupation: None
Unique Ability: Fusion
Skill: Lv1 'Element of Fire' Lv1 'Eye of Truth'

The status window had changed.

New things were added to the previously empty spots under unique abilities and skill windows.

“Nice…”

He exclaimed unknowingly.

It had to be because he had acquired the unique ability considered to be the most deceptively strong.

It was just one step past the starting line, but he couldn’t help as his body trembled in anticipation.

‘Let’s be calm.’

Jin-hyuk managed to calm his heart.

‘The first thing I should do is collect as many unique abilities and skills as possible.’

There were more than 50,000 types of abilities that existed in this world. That meant that there was still a long way to go.

‘I must set my priorities and collect the most necessary skills.’

When he had acquired the Element of Fire from Min Jung-woo, the conditions required for copying it hadn’t been difficult.

But that was because the skill was just Lv1.

The higher the skill’s rank and level, the more complex the copying conditions would become. Of course, he shouldn’t be in too much of a hurry.

If he tried to get things done too quickly, it would just result in a mess.

From the perspective of history, there were many businesses that went bankrupt from rushing too quickly.

‘I will not be making the mistakes they made. Never.’

…was what most would think.

In fact, only four of the people who appeared at the museum, including Jin-hyuk, could have been considered skillful.

He could understand that.

The desire to reduce the risk.

But, they also want to be ahead of others while still acting cautiously.

In the meantime, Jin-hyuk had managed to get people that could work for him.

The world always smiled at those who took risks.

There was no path for cowards who only looked for the safe way out.

Please, continue to walk safely.

‘In the meantime, I will move forward.’

Since he had just one body, he could not monopolize everything, but…

Instead, he will take the most delicious things.

‘And share the crumbs with the rest.’

Jin-hyuk smiled, looking at his status window.

‘But, I am slowly reaching the limit.’

Once he organized his thoughts, the desire he had been holding back surged forward.

Drrr!

A strong vibration came from his stomach.

It was because he had been moving on an empty stomach all night.

‘I need to have some soup or something…’

Hot and clear soup with meat and a sweet and sour twisted donut.

There was nothing on the menu that couldn’t be bought with just 7,000 won.

It wasn’t for nothing that there was a saying, ‘If you can buy anything with money, buy a bowl of hot soup.’

‘There has to be at least one restaurant that serves it somewhere that’s still open…’

And he found one.

It was a soup restaurant with a signboard that had the force of 3 generations of chefs.

Jin-hyuk went straight into the sundae soup restaurant that was open 24 hours a day.

Tring

The door opened, and a bell rang.

But…

The atmosphere inside felt weird.

“Oh…”

“Is this for real?”

Dozens of customers, employees, and even the boss.

All eyes were drawn to the breaking news.

-The government is investigating this unidentified building called the 'Tower of Trials', and a special department called the 'Awakened Association' has been established mainly for civil servants who can use special abilities.

“Hoo.”

Jin-hyuk mumbled while looking interested.

‘Awakened Association…’

The government’s response was quicker than expected.

Moreover, considering that the department was composed of people who had awakened their unique abilities, they must have been very flexible in accepting this task.

‘This is surprising.’

He thought it would take a few weeks for the world to adjust to this.

-The government's quick response was probably due to what happened in the morning.
-Yes. It is true. At least 23 people died, and more than 50 were injured at the National Museum of Korea. The death toll is expected to continue and rise as some of the people have critical injuries.
-That is it. That is why this policy is being implemented…
-It seemed that they had been targeting the relics inside the museum. Similar incidents have been reported not only in Korea, but also in the United States, Europe, China, and Japan.

The British Museum in England, the Louvre in France, and the Museum of Natural History in the United States.

‘As expected.’

Players from other nations had moved too.

To secure relic replicas.

To prepare for the climb up.

-First of all, let's take a look at the CCTV footage.

The screen changed.

What appeared was a scene of two men and a woman fighting.

The sight of the woman controlling the Anubis statues was shocking.

Kwang!

The figure of a man hitting a spear away with his bare hands.

Kwakwakwag!

The footage of the tiger’s summoning was also quite shocking. The sight of said tiger tearing down the five Anubis statues even left the TV announcer in shock.

Well, this was expected.

Because everything was far beyond normal.

-…it is hard to believe, but this footage was not modified in any way.

The announcer said that after a few seconds of silence.

The inside of the restaurant became even noisier.

“It makes no sense. Can… can that be done by any human?”

“Oh my.”

“Just who is it?”

The customers, most of them relatively older, tilted their heads.

On the other hand,

“I, that one. He was the one who appeared in the Tower of Trials community a while back!”

“Ah! The video of the mangrove tree being taken out using a piece of wood.”

“Right. The amazing reflexes and movements!”

The younger customers recognized the figure at once. It is the most popular topic on the internet and in discussion communities right now.

“I am curious. Who is that person?”

“Maybe he’s the final weapon the government was secretly developing.”

“There is a story about a famous BJ.”

Words of speculation kept popping up around him.

Jin-hyuk, who was standing next to them, scratched his cheek shyly.

Hearing those words kind of felt weird to him

It was at that moment…

A new person appeared on the TV.

It was a man in his early 40s with a sharp face.

He was Han Sang-jin, who had been placed in charge of the Awakened Association. His face also had distinct scars around his eyes, injuries that were made using a knife or a sword.

‘Han Sang-jin…’

Jin-hyuk narrowed his eyes. Perhaps that man had been appointed the President of the Awakened Association because he had pretty good abilities.

If not…

Then he was someone who also played the Tower of Trials for a long time.

He wished that it was the former. That way, he could copy his abilities if they met one day.

While Jin-hyuk was deep in thought, Han Sang-jin continued to speak on the TV.

-The reason I have appeared here today is to announce a recruitment for those who have awakened. Depending on the grade evaluation, there will be some difference, but we promise to treat you as at least a Grade 7 civil servant with an equivalent minimum annual salary.

Considering the reality of Korea’s employment struggle, this was fine. It seemed like they wanted to get the awakened ones at any cost…

It remained to be seen how many would leave behind the new land of freedom to become civil servants.

-Of course, we will make an exception for the person shown in the video just now. I will personally appeal to the President. If you join us, we will support you by using every means possible by our government.

Why was he making such a fuss now?

‘I was the true aim for this.’

One skilled player over 100 mediocre ones.

Han Sang-jin also knew the value of this, so he was clearly trying to convince Jin-hyuk with the equivalent of a blank check.

But…

‘He must think so low of me.’

He had no intention of being tied down anywhere, whatever the price they offered. He had no intention of sharing what he knew.

Jin-hyuk glanced at the clock on the wall.

12 hours left.

At precisely 7 PM.

When the hour hand points to that hour, a new time will start.

The door to the Tower of Trials will open again.

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